The city council has a proud history of supporting refugees.
It is important help and advice is available for those wishing to support those fleeing the fighting in Ukraine, as well as refugee guests when they arrive.
The easiest and most effective way to support the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is to make a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine appeal. The UK Government has also said that it will match every £ donated.
The DEC and other major charities are asking for donations of money rather than goods. Donating money allows international charities such as the DEC to procure what’s required on the ground, so it can be delivered to people more quickly rather than trying to transport goods from the UK to Ukraine.
Homes for Ukraine scheme – accommodating refugees
The government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme enables individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to offer refuge to an individual or family from Ukraine who are fleeing the war.
If you would like to offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine, you can register an interest to become a ‘sponsor’
People who have been approved to provide accommodation, and become ‘sponsors’ are required to, in summary:
- Provide suitable accommodation for a minimum of 6 months
- Stay in regular contact with their guest prior to their arrival to help organise and coordinate their arrival in the UK, meet them on arrival, and facilitate transfer to their accommodation. Note: councils will still be required to provide general reception arrangements and immediate support on arrival if guests require it (see section below)
- Signpost the guest to public services and assist them with tasks such as registering with a local GP surgery.
More detailed information and Q&As can be found on the Gov.uk website
Residents in receipt of single person council tax discount
Norwich residents who offer up rooms in their home as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, and are currently in receipt of single person council tax discount, will continue to receive that discount for as long as they participate in the scheme.
Support for hosts and sponsors
Information on what hosts or sponsors can expect in the first few days and how to support guests is available on Norfolk County Council’s website, this includes:
The government has produced the document Welcome: a guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK on its Gov.uk website, and we understand there will be a Ukrainian translation available soon.
If you are worried about family members or relatives
- See advice for British nationals who are in Ukraine on Gov.uk
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine have an emergency helpline number for anyone concerned about Ukrainian citizens: 07553 483628
- Temporary visa concessions have been introduced for family members of British nationals who usually live in Ukraine. See UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals on Gov.uk.
Local legal advice for Ukrainians
The UK Government has announced concessions to allow Ukrainians to join family members in the UK. Norfolk Community Law Service (NCSL) is offering priority advice for these applications and will guide you through the whole process. Please contact the NCSL Immigration Advice Service, firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01603 851247. All services are free.
Access to healthcare
Information on how to get NHS care has been published in both Ukrainian and English by Health Watch Norfolk on its website.
Be scam aware
Times of crisis may bring out the best in most of us, but they are a magnet for scammers – as warned by Norfolk Trading Standards.
If you are looking to help people in Ukraine, remember to donate wisely.
Please protect yourself with the following this information from Norfolk Trading Standards.